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coming out

Christian rock star comes out, sees 'absolutely no conflict' in being gay 'and following Jesus'

For 15 years, Trey Pearson has been the lead singer of Everyday Sunday, a popular Christian rock band that has sold about 250,000 records, toured the U.S. and the world, and scored the top Christian rock hit of 2007. On Tuesday, he announced that he is gay. "I have tried not to be gay for more than 20 years of my life," the 35-year-old told his fans in a letter. "I've tried my whole life to be straight. I married a girl, and I even have two beautiful little kids," he wrote, explaining that his wife is now a good friend, and "if I keep trying to push this down it will end up hurting her even more."

Coming out as gay may be career suicide for Pearson, notes Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service. Several Christian artists have revealed themselves to be gay or lesbian in the past few years, he says, and "these musicians paid a hefty price. Since Christian music fans tend to be conservative and believe that homosexual acts are sinful, you won't hear these artists' music played in most churches or on Christian radio these days." Pearson hopes that his fans will stick with him, and that he can be a role model for other gay Christians, especially those, like him, raised in "a very conservative Christian home."

But Pearson says that regardless of his music career, he isn't losing his religion. His study of the Bible has led him to believe that the few verses that address homosexuality don't condemn today's loving, committed gay relationships, he told Merritt. "There is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus," he said. "God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated, and my truest self." You can read more about Pearson at RNS, or the 12-page cover story about him in (614) Magazine.